Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Christmas Update

Family Christmas 2012
     It is hard to believe that 2012 is almost finished.  The year has gone by so very quickly, and a great deal has happened in those twelve short months.  I guess the old adage “time flies” is true.
            This year a new Pumphrey has entered the world, Silas Brin who was born on 14 August.  This latest addition to our family has evened out the numbers bringing us to two boys and two girls. If his entrance to our world is any indication of who he will be then we are truly blessed.  On the same day that he was scheduled to be born via C-section Silas chose to come into the world making sure no one was going to cut on his mom.  Four months later there are still many sleepless nights, pray for Connie.  Caydyn, our 18 month old, has really started developing her personality, which is great fun to watch.  People refer to her alternately as the “Alpha Toddler” or “Little Firecracker” so you have some idea of just how interesting she is and how much laughter she brings all of us.  Malachi, our oldest boy, turned four this year and started preschool.  He has a heart of gold and the teachers just love him.  He is a typical boy and loves riding his bike, playing  sports, batman action figures, and tagging along with his oldest sister Ryley.  Ryley turned seven as she started the first grade; she is our true “girlie girl” loving all things pink and fluffy, Barbies, and princesses.  This summer she spared us another Princess Birthday Party and let us celebrate with Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Cari at an indoor water park.  Like I said time really does appear to fly, I remember when I held Ryley in my arm and now I walk her to the bus.
            Connie is knee deep in motherhood having four kids under the age of seven in addition to watching a friend’s year old boy during the daytime.  Despite the busy schedule of caring for five children (six if you count me) Connie is doing well and we make a conscious effort to find time just for Connie.  Fortunately having the office at home gives me the flexibility in my schedule to make that time for her.  Just this past week Connie was able to make a trip up to York, Pa. to visit her sister Cari.  Connie and Cari had grown even closer over the past couple of years while Cari stayed with us until she moved to Pa. in late August to go back to school.  We miss Aunt Cari!
            I am doing well in our fourth year here in Virginia Beach and creeping up on Awaken’s third year since launching.  As a young Church Planter and Pastor I am learning how to lead our ever-growing family, lead a new and young church, and pursue some of my dreams of seeing other churches planted.  This year I have been able to begin helping train some other church planters.  Entering into 2013 the local Baptist Association has asked me to start in a voluntary role to help strategize some future church plants by working with other churches and church planters.  We will be starting a Cluster Group for Church Planters after the New Year.  This is a real joy for me to pass on to a new generation of church planters the wisdom, and lessons God has taught me in planting Awaken.
            Awaken continues to reach new people for Christ.  We have a baptism coming up after the first of the year where we expect to see ten more people baptized.  It is fun and difficult having a church full of “Young Christians”.  This year has been a challenging one for us personally and as a church.  At the beginning of 2012 we were renting space from another church however, our lease was expiring at the end of the summer without an option to renew.  We pursued countless options until we went down to the wire and with only a week to go God opened up a Cinema Café Movie Theater.  As it turns out, the Cinema Café has been a huge blessing and the best possible place we could have landed as a church searching for a place to call home.  This has been taxing on our leadership, but also a blessing as we saw them grow and rise through this.  They humorously asked me to never again pray for a move where we could say it was only God who could have pulled it off.  All joking aside, looking back at the move and all that was involved only God made this possible and it is only with God’s continued providence that we press on.
            This year, 2012, Awaken has grown by reaching new people for Jesus, we have gone on the offense by starting a ministry to combat Human Sex Trafficking, we continue to see the budget grow closer to becoming self -supporting with this year’s budget being 2/3 in house, God brought us an amazing worship leader for pennies on the dollar, and we now have a few guys raised up as candidates for Eldership. We serve a great and good God who has blessed our family and our church and we cannot wait to see what God will do in 2013.

Thank you for your prayers and continued support as we pursue the Great Commission here in Virginia Beach.

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